Every day I hear from people who try really hard, and just can"t seem to lose weight. There are a number of "hidden" reasons this might be happening to you. That"s the topic of my Today Show segment (check back later for the video).
I"ve found these can pop up in four different areas: your eating, your activity, your behavior, and your biology (body). Let me know if you agree - or have other hidden reasons you"ve discovered!
Confusing “heart-healthy fat” or “fat free” with low calorie. Switching to olive oil from butter is a heart healthy choice, but won"t save you any calories. To lose weight, it"s important to cut the amount (instead of a tablespoon at 120 calories, try a teaspoon at 40 calories, since it"s so flavorful). Fiber rich, whole grains are a great choice, and fat-free, but the calories add up we don’t stop with ½ - 1 cup serving. The only solution to this is label reading for calories per serving; when you see that reduced-fat peanut butter has just about the same calories as regular peanut butter, you won"t be fooled by clever ads.
Poor calorie “eyeballing” (studies show 50% too low). We all feel we’re good at estimating portion size, but the cues to do so set us up for failure. Studies show we are at least 50% too LOW in our estimates – even when professionals do it.
Skipping Meals. Too busy, or choosing to skip a meal to save calories? The problem with meal skipping is you get over-hungry for the next meal – “I didn’t realize I was so hungry”, once you start eating.
YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Too much exercise is a biological stimulant for hunger. This is very common for dieters who only want to focus on exercise as a way to cut calories.. Rigorous exercise stimulates appetite to “refuel” for metabolic balance. I"m talking 2 hours of more intense activity. Plus, like the poor "eyeballing" of food, most of us aren"t skilled at estimating how many calories are used for activity. Just remember it can take 5 minutes to eat a 500 calorie piece of pie, and nearly 2 hours to exercise it away!
On the other end of things, no exercise is a diet disaster. Whether it"s lack of time, or lack of interest - only 100 cal a day – a 20 minute walk – helps you lose 10 pounds in a year! Even a small drop in physical activity (that people ignore) packs on the pounds. Here"s an example I recently heard from a patient of mine: “I used to park blocks away in a cheaper parking lot. I got promoted, and get the corporate lot. I’ve gained 5 pounds in 3 months.”
Lack of sleep is a huge problem – when we"re tired, we eat for energy. When we"re tired, we lose our focus, and discipline, and lose the mental control needed to stay on track. Between-meal snacks to “wake up” are the solution when a power nap would be better. Our body"s have 24-hour rhythms in many hormones and pathways - like body temperature - that don’t “reset” and get out of balance with lack of sleep.
Poor stress management - a lof of mindless eating comes from the lack of focus due to mental stress. We often confuse business with poor stress management. "I feel overwhelmed" say many patients. We eat to soothe, to reward ourselves, and to indulge in extra calories. Food DOES make us feel better, but we have to learn to self-soothe in other, non-food ways as well.
Lack of consistency (5 days on, 2 days off). “I’m trying but lifestyle isn’t working”. Some general awareness every day is needed to avoid what I call “weight creep”. It takes only 100 calories extra a day to gain 10 pounds in a year. Most often, people “relax” their lifestyle on the weekend, and can easily pack on a couple of pounds a month – 7000 calories (that’s 2 pounds) – over 8 weekend days – only about 850 calories more a day.
YOUR BIOLOGY (BODY):
Medications can cause weight gain as a side effect, when they are started. Some stimulate appetite, and others slow your metabolism. A range of medications from antidepressants; antipsychotics some antihistamines, as well as insulin and blood sugar drugs, some blood pressure medicines, and anti-inflammatory drugs can pack on the pounds. Check with your doctor when starting a new medication, and always ask if weight gain is a reported side effect - there may be another medication you can take without this side effect. This happens only at the beginning of a new medicine. If you’re started a new medicine, and gained 4 pounds or more in a month, check with your doctor…..It’s NOT the cause if you’ve been taking a medicine, and then find suddenly you’re gaining weight, months after you’ve started.
Undiagnosed Mood Disorders. Undiagnosed depression or anxiety is both behavioral and biological. While many think depressive symptoms are only the “classics”: loss of appetite, insomnia, and weight loss, a large subgroup sleeps more and eats more. Oftentimes thyroid gland problems are linked to mood disorders (see below), and can result in weight gain. 更多信息请访问：http://www.24en.com/
Thyroid Function – The thyroid gland is your body’s “furnace” and sets the thermostat. This is regulated by a signal from the brain to release thyroid hormone into the system. Either resting or stimulated thyroid gland activity can be a problem, and result in slow, steady weight gain.
Elevated fasting insulin. This is known as "insulin resistance" or " metabolic syndrome" and often found in people with an "apple" shape (weight accumulates in the middle). It"s invisible unless you get a blood test. Blood insulin levels can be high, with blood sugar levels being normal (everyone knows that number). It does not mean diabetes (where blood sugar is high), but is a sign of pre-diabetes. This can greatly sabotage a solid weight loss effort - and correcting the problem (with medication for starters) makes that weight loss effort easier. A further plus - more weight loss alone can help lower your fasting insulin - getting you off the medication to correct the original problem!
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